Loretta Lux (German, b.1969) is a photographer known for her portraits of young children, digitally altered to resemble the aristocratic stiffness and formality of Old Master paintings. Born in Dresden, Germany, Lux studied painting at the Academy of Visual Arts in Munich, and began working with photography in 1999. Influenced by painters such as Francisco de Goya and Agnolo Bronzino, Lux dresses her subjects in vintage clothing and digitally adds props and backgrounds. Portraits such as Dorothea (2001), an expressionless girl with pale skin and blue eyes that match the sky in the background, and Marianne (2004), a redhead looking uncomfortable wearing a stiff coat, echo Diego Velázquez's Infanta Margarita (1653). While Lux’s rigorous and unsentimental approach follows German documentary photographers such as Bernd and Hilla Becher and Thomas Struth, she also draws from commercial advertising to bring her work closer to kitsch. Her carefully constructed portraits, stylized and surreal, become metaphors for childhood innocence rather than reflections of her sitters’ psychology. Lux’s work is included in many museum collections, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, CA, the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan, and the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2005, she was the recipient of the Infinity Award for Art from the International Center of Photography. She is represented by the Yossi Milo Gallery in New York.

Timeline

1969
Born: Dresden, Germany
1990–1996
Studied painting at Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Munich under Professor Gerd Winner
2002
Bayerischer Kunstförderpreis
2005
Infinity Award for Art, The International Centre of Photography, New York

Exhibitions

2011
What’s In a Face? Aspects of Portrait Photography, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
2011
New Yorker Fiction/Real Photography, Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, NY
2011
From Our Collection: Portraits, Glenbow Museum, Alberta, Canada
2011
Von Engeln & Bengeln, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria
2011
Identity: Photographs in the Grażyna Kulczyk Collection, Art Stations Foundation, Poland
2011
Mannerism and Modernism: The Kasper Collection of Drawings and Photographs, The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, NY
2011
The Art of Caring: A Look at Life through Photography, Art Museum/Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX [traveling]
2010
Danica Dakic, Loretta Lux, Anu Pennanen, Vantaa Art Museum, Vantaa, Finland
2010
Present Tense: An Imagined Grammar of Portraiture in the Digital Age, National Portrait Gallery, Parkes, Australia
2010
The Art of Caring: A Look at Life through Photography, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH [traveling]
2010
Streams of the New: Masterpieces from the National Museum of Art, Osaka, Miyagi Museum of Art, Japan
2010
Loretta Lux: Photographs, Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan, Italy (solo)
2009
Collection, The National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
2009
Chelsea Visits Havana, 10th Biennial of Havana, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba
2009
The Art of Caring: A Look at Life through Photography, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
2009
Alternate Reality, Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
2009
Creating Identity: Portraits Today, 21C Museum, Louisville, KY
2009
Loretta Lux, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
2008–2009
The Linked Ring, Joseloff Gallery, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT
2008
TEN, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
2008
Loretta Lux, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico (solo)
2007
Contemporary, Cool and Collected, Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC
2007
June Bride, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY
2007
All the More Real: Portrayals of Intimacy and Empathy, Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY
2007
El Rei de la Casa. Adults als Deu, Nens als Quaranta, Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona, Spain
2007
Family Pictures, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
2007
Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
2007
Pretty Baby, The Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
2006–2007
Loretta Lux, Imaginary Portraits, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland (solo)
2006–2007
Retrospective, Fotomuseum den Haag, The Hague; Le Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
2006
Zwischen Wirklichkeit und Bild, Museum of Contemporary Art, Kagawa Japan
2006
Loretta Lux, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2006
Loretta Lux, Imaginary Portraits, Sixth Moscow Photobiennale, Central Exhibition Hall, Moscow, Russia (solo)
2006
Infinite Painting: Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, Villa Manin Center forContemporary Art, Codroipo, Italy
2006
In Sight: Recent Additions to the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
2006
Offspring: Representations of Children in Contemporary Visual Culture, Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, MA
2005–2006
Arbeit an der Wirklichkeit, German Contemporary Photography, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Marugame Genichiro- Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan
2005
Contiene Glutamato, Galeria OMR, Mexico City
2005
Boost in the Shell, De Bond, Brugge, Belgium
2005
the childrens hour, Museum of New Art (mona), Pontiac, MI
2005
Contenance - Fassung Bewahren, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, Germany
2005
Family pictures, Contemporary Photography and Video from the Guggenheim Collection, Galleria Gottardo, Lugano, Switzerland
2005
Simulacrum: Portraiture in the New Mllenium, Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City
2005
Through The Looking Glass, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College, Cork, Ireland
2005
Focus on: New Photography, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
2005
N Focus: Contemporary Photography from the Allen G. Thomas Jr. Collection, Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
2005
Inventing Childhood, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand
2004
About Face, Hayward Gallery, London
2004
Loretta Lux, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2004
Loretta Lux, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands (solo)
2004
Making Faces, Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
2004
The Picture of Innocence, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN
2004
La Collection Ordóñez-Falcón, Le Botanique, Brussels, Belgium
2004
About Face: Photographic Portraits From the Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
2004
Changeling, ACP Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney
2003
By the Sea, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, NY
2003
Ninos, Centro de Arte de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
2003
Loretta Lux - Erfindung des Seins, Stadt Museum Muenster, Germany (solo)

Public Collections

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
National Museum of Art, Osaka
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL
Photo Museum, Munich, Germany
RISD Museum, Providence, RI
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX
Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Austria
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Akron Art Museum, Akron OH
Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
Cleveland Art Museum, Cleveland, OH
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
Gemeentemuseum Helmond, The Netherlands
Hague Museum of Photography, The Hague, Netherlands
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Literature

2010
“Visions of the Decade.” PDN Volume XXX Issue 1
2009
“Helgvalet.” Kulturhuset
2008
“Loretta Lux.” Pen with new attitude No. 234
2008
“Designer’s It List.” Japanese Vogue
2007
“Vivre En 2020.” Le Monde
2007
Ayers, Robert. “Scopes All Smiles.” ArtInfo
2007
Smith, Roberta. “They Are Artists Who Are Women; Hear Them Roar.” The New York Times
2006
Watson, April. “Loretta Lux Photographs at Yossi Milo Galerry.”
2006
Healy, Murray. “A Paradise Lost.” Pop
2006
DeFoore, Jay. “New Loretta Lux Images at Yossi Milo Gallery.” American Photo
2005
“No Joy for Britons in New York’s Lavish International Photography Awards.” The British Daily Journal
2005
Naynard, Ed. “Going for Baroque” Modern Painters
2004
Gardner Jr., Ralph. “Tot Therapy.” New Yorker Magazine
2004
Stoll, Diana C. “Loretta Lux’s Changelings." Aperture
2004
Woodward, Richard B. “The Eerily Lovely Children of the Photoshop Generation.” The New York Times
2003
Richter, Verena. “Kinder einer Verlorenen Welt.“ Welt am Sonntag.